Happy new Mayoral year, everyone!
Did you know that London has two mayors? Whilst you’re probably heard of the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, how many of you can name the Lord Mayor of London? (Hint: it’s the man or woman who leads the City of London, and takes care of “the UK’s financial and professional services sector”). If your answer is “Charles Bowman, but only for another four days”, then congratulations, you’re spot on. On Saturday November 10th, London gets a new Lord Mayor – and naturally, the city is celebrating with a party.
London rarely needs an excuse for a jolly old knees up, with “old” being the operative word. The 2018 show is the 803rd time the new Lord Mayor will parade through the City of London to the Royal Courts of Justice, there to swear loyalty to the crown. This year, Peter Estlin will undertake the journey to the mayoralty, joining the 688 men and 2 women (I know, right?) who came before him. The pageant involves 7000 people, 200 horses, 150 floats, and the Lord Mayor’s blingtastic gold coach, making it quite the spectacle. It’s also free to attend, which is pretty sweet.
It all sounds rather splendid, but there is some bad news to deliver. Previous years have featured a flotilla of boats cruising up the Thames and under Tower Bridge, and a dazzling fireworks display over the Thames – however, all of that is sadly gone this year. They’ve added two festival zones at Paternoster Square and the Bloomberg Arcade, but the whole event is set to be a little tamer this year. Then again, it is the world’s oldest civic parade, so we aren’t going to be too down on it!
If you’re heading along to the parade, it kicks off at 11am from Mansion House, and takes a three-mile route to the Royal Courts of Justice – here’s the lowdown on the procession. Road closures are likely to affect the entire City of London – find them here. They’ve also produced a handy app for the day, which you can download here.